It has been quite a while since I have updated the blog and even longer since I have updated the so-called “Journey to Unindebtedness”, uh, journal. And since I have found recently that going to bed early does not equal more sleep but waking up at 3:30 a.m., I figured now is as good a time as any to update the avid readership with what has been going on in the Brown household these past couple of years with respect to our financial goals.
As some of you may recall, back in the summer of 2009, upon a covered-porch laden beach house on the border of Pine Knoll Shores and Indian Beach, there was conceived the notion in my head that spending more in a month than one makes in a month is not a good thing. Though we did not know how the solution would manifest itself in the coming years, both Haley and I did understand that something would have to be done in order to prevent a certain financial crisis down the road.
What followed that realization (and what proceeded it and imbued it) was a profound outpouring of grace. At the time, we knew that we wanted to move from Raleigh to Wendell where was our family and the greater portion of our friends, and so we began to search for land out in Wendell. And though Wendell is not the most luxurious place in the world, all land in Wake County comes at a premium, and so finding a lot that was not too expensive for our goals seemed to be a near impossible task. Nevertheless, we did find a lot (through our good friend, Craigslist) that was at the perfect price point. We also were able to buy a mobile home for $1500 that needed a lot of work, but was still about a quarter of the price of my first car—a 1996 Ford Escort. We then had to sell our condo in a tough market, which God graciously brought about in May 2010—a day before putting it up on the market and for $2500 above list price. And through gracious loans from both sets of our parents, we were able to make the transition from the condo in Raleigh to the trailer in Wendell.
A lot has happened in the roughly three years since that business took place, chiefly a lot of renovations and a lot of financial shuffling, but it seems as though our time in the Knightdale-side of Wendell is drawing to a close. We did enter this period of our life with the intention of paying off all of our debt and then looking to buy a house, but, with market conditions being the way they are and with interest rates on mortgages being as low as they are, we figured it would cost us more in the long run to stay longer and wind up with a higher interest rate on a mortgage.
And so a few months ago, we decided that we would try to sell the trailer and land, which meant that all of the unfinished projects would have to be finished. We did, by grace, finish by our goal date and got it up on the market in February 2013 (if you’re curious, here’s the web listing), and got an offer roughly two weeks later, which seemed like an eternity for those of us who are used to selling a house a day before it goes on the market. We are scheduled to close on the sale this Friday (March 15) at 1 p.m., at which point my nerves might rest a little easier. So, feel free to pray for that and for my faith if it comes to your mind.
Presuming and praying that the sale of the place goes through on Friday, our 3+ year journey toward unindebtedness will have ended with paying off over $63,000 dollars in debt ($171,000 if you count the mortgage on the condo), leaving behind a couple of small loans that should be paid off this year and student loans that should be paid off in, oh, 15 years. Nevertheless, our financial position today is far better than it was four years ago, and we are prepared to afford the house on which we put an offer over the weekend (you can pray for that as well).
That’s the short story, and it’s existence and brevity is for the sake of thanking God for his grace and provision throughout this time and for thanking all of you—our family, friends, and brothers and sisters in Christ—for your prayers, support, and encouragement that you have given to us throughout this time. We would have never arrived at this point apart from you, and we will forever be in your debt … and I can handle that kind of debt. Bless you all. Grace and peace. Matt
Categories: Unindebtedness Journal